Cisco returns to network roots with advanced ASR 9000 upgrade

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), under fire of late for being unfocused and having grown too fast and with too many disparate parts, returned to its network roots with a vengeance with the introduction of its next generation of ASR 9000 aggregation service routers.

The newly upgraded products are designed to handle the video-fueled bandwidth crunch that Cisco, in a Visual Networking Index, predicted would generate nearly a Zettabyte (1 sextillion bytes) of global IP traffic by 2015.

"When I read your VNI report I recognized a lot of things in there; we're living that," said Jay Rolls, senior vice president of technology for Cox Communications and one of four service providers Cisco brought out in its webcast to endorse the advanced product line. "We need your help in solving those problems as they come at us."

Specifically, the service providers said, they need help moving traffic around the core of the network. It's also a key piece in the eventual move to an all-IP cable network structure.

"For cable operators, one of the things we're worried about is how to transition our video delivery networks eventually to IP networks so we can manage this all as one consolidated system," Rolls said. "There are a lot of efficiencies to be gained there and we can also start getting our video product to non-traditional devices very easily."

In the end, the upgraded ASR 9000 series products provide "scale with simplicity" and helps service providers deal with emerging and expanding markets, said Pankaj Patel, senior vice president of engineering and general manager of Cisco's Service Provider Business unit. "This ... puts us in a unique position to sell the complete system with a future where we can leave selling the boxes and the bandwidth to the competitors."

For more:
- see this news release

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